Role of Side-Chain Molecular Features in Tuning Lower Critical Solution Temperatures (LCSTs) of Oligoethylene Glycol Modified Polypeptides
Eric G. Gharakhanian, Timothy J. Deming
The Journal of Physical Chemistry B
A series of thermoresponsive polypeptides has been synthesized using a methodology that allowed facile adjustment of side-chain functional groups. The lower critical solution temperature (LCST) properties of these polymers in water were then evaluated relative to systematic molecular modifications in their side-chains. It was found that in addition to the number of ethylene glycol repeats in the side-chains, terminal and linker groups also have substantial and predictable effects on cloud point temperatures (Tcp). In particular, we found that the structure of these polypeptides allowed for inclusion of polar hydroxyl groups, which significantly increased their hydrophilicity and decreased the need to use long oligoethylene glycol repeats to obtain LCSTs. The thioether linkages in these polypeptides were found to provide an additional structural feature for reversible switching of both polypeptide conformation and thermoresponsive properties.
Circular dichroism, Secondary structure, Polymers, Biochemistry